When quarterly earnings are released, and the government provides jobs numbers, one of the data elements people like to talk about is the confidence of consumers. Are consumers buying? Are consumers using their hard-earned dollars to stimulate the economy? If not, why aren't they confident? Why aren't they buying? It is a very fascinating debate.
As marketers, we must be able to sit back and wonder why they are having this discussion without us. They bring in government officials, venture capitalists, and economists by the droves, but they rarely talk to the people or the industry that is responsible for delivering the "why they buy" message.
Of course, when AdLand is brought in, they are more concerned with "truth in advertising." Why is advertising "misleading" the public? Or, how can we drive down the cost of advertising to boost the revenue line of businesses?
Clearly, this is because businesses (especially the FORTUNE 500 ones) are struggling.
But this focus on consumption continues to raise an interesting question: If the buying power or frequency of the consumer is so important, shouldn't advertising and marketing rank higher than it does on the totem pole? Or, because of the forceful reliance on consumption, do they look at advertising as a necessary evil?
We guess it remains to be seen.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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